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US pastor appeals for release, lifting of travel ban: lawyer

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A Christian American pastor standing trial in Turkey on terrorism charges has appealed to a Turkish court to release him from house arrest and lift his travel ban, his lawyer told Reuters on Monday.

Relations between Turkey and the United States have spiraled into a full-blown crisis over the trial of pastor Andrew Brunson, who was in custody for 21 months in a Turkish prison until he was transferred to house arrest last week.

President Donald Trump last week threatened to impose “large sanctions” on Turkey unless it frees Brunson, who is accused of helping the group Ankara says was behind a failed military coup in 2016. Brunson faces up to 35 years in jail if found guilty of the charges, which he denies.

The appeal document seen by Reuters said although Brunson was freed from jail, the pastor was still deprived of his freedom and was unable to return to his normal life and carry out his religious duties.

Brunson’s lawyer Ismail Cem Halavurt said it would take the Turkish court in Aegean province of Izmir, where Brunson stood trial, three to seven days to make a decision on the appeal request.

His next hearing as part of the trial is scheduled for October.

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Brunson was accused of helping supporters of Fethullah Gulen, the U.S.-based cleric who Turkish authorities say masterminded the coup attempt against President Tayyip Erdogan in which 250 people were killed. He was also charged with supporting outlawed PKK Kurdish militants.

Gulen denies any involvement in the coup attempt.

Speaking to reporters during his trip to South Africa, Erdogan said Turkey would stand its ground in the face of Trump’s sanctions threat.

It was not clear what would be the nature of sanctions threatened by Trump but Washington was already working on bills related to Turkey.

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The U.S. Senate has demanded a block on sales of F-35 jets to Turkey unless Trump certifies that Turkey is not threatening NATO, purchasing defense equipment from Russia or detaining U.S. citizens.

Reporting by Ezgi Erkoyun; Writing by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by Dominic Evans and Alison Williams

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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Shell-shocked manufacturers hammer Trump’s plan to impose sweeping new China tariffs: ‘We’re barely profitable now’

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According to a report from the Washington Post, President Donald Trump is considering yet another wave of tariffs aimed at China, which has American manufacturers and farmers stunned after the economic battering they have already sustained during his trade wars.

The Post reports that the Trump administration is considering new tariffs on virtually all imports from China, which is receiving major pushback from representatives attending hearings being held by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).

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Informal Trump legal advisor urges potential witnesses to ‘spit in the face’ of House committee chairs

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Joseph E diGenova

On Monday, Politico reported that House Democrats, enraged at the White House's blanket use of executive privilege to stonewall all attempts to call witnesses in the investigation of possible obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump, are weighing the idea of calling Trump associates who have never worked in the White House, including former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Trump campaign chairman Corey Lewandowski.

But according to Joseph DiGenova, a former federal prosecutor and Fox News commentator who represented two witnesses in former special counsel Robert Mueller's probe and gives Trump informal legal advice, these witnesses should just "spit in the face" of investigators.

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Donald Trump Jr torn to shreds for suggesting his dad has been treated worse than slaves and Native Americans

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Donald Trump Jr. thinks his father has been treated worse than any human in American history -- including slaves, Native Americans and presidents who have been assassinated while in office.

After President Donald Trump told ABC News' George Stephanopoulos that "there's never been a time in the history of our country where somebody was so mistreated as I have been," Trump Jr. jumped on Twitter to defend his father and simply said that "he's right."

He’s right. https://t.co/ZRlenHkXrq

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